With the runaway success of Apple’s original iPad, the market for tablets has proven itself, undeniably. Now, leading electronic OEM manufacturers are doing their absolute best to get into the highly sought after tablet market. Undoubtedly, Apple’s impending announcement on the iPad 2 hasn’t made as big of a stir as the original did. As we all know, the first iPad became a huge hit not because it was a revolutionary gadget but it was because of its timely release and Apples always excellent marketing team. By no means do we mean any offense to Apple – but one could even say the original iPad did as well as it did because it faced little to no competition. At the same token, Apple should be applauded for its brilliant efforts in bringing a great piece of technology into the hands of millions, and igniting the flame in tablet lovers’ hearts everywhere.
Fast forward to today – we have Android based tablets being launched at the previously held CES and at MWC. Featuring Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb Operating System, tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2/Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Motorola Xoom, and the LG Optimus Pad are set to revolutionize the tablet market.
The Motorola Xoom will have a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2, a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 resolution screen, a 5megapixel camera that is capable of 720p video recording and 1080p video playback, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and 32GB of onboard storage with a free microSD slot. It will also have 4G connectivity added to its toolkit come Q2 this year, after it receives a software update. Industry analysts are saying this will be the particular Android Honeycomb tablet to beat in 2011, and we expect the shockingly high $799 price to drop to more reasonable levels within six months of launch.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (pre-announcement name) or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, features a 10.1 inch display. Similar to the Motorola Xoom, it is powered by the dual-core Tegra 2 processor. It will have 16GB and 32GB versions available during launch. It will also have a 2 megapixel front camera and an 8 megapixel one at the back. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will also be one of the first tablets to be using Android 3.0 Honeycomb. It’s also capable of 1080p video recording and playback, which is an added bonus.
This particular tablet, while similar to the others, is different in one significant way: it does 3D. When we say it does 3D, we mean it can record 3D videos, display them, and also enables the user to play 3D games. Further to these unique capabilities, is the fact that it can be connected to a 3D TV via HDMI and display 3D content there. The Optimus Pad is the only 8.9″ tablet featuring Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and will compete directly with the likes of the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Yes, just as with the Optimus 3D smartphone that was also launched today, the Optimus Pad has a 3D mode as well.
3D functionality aside, the Optimus Pad is a thrill to use. Actually, it’s virtually identical to every other Android tablet, even down to the dual-core NVIDIA Tegra2 chip and stock Android Honeycomb OS. It kind of reminds us of the netbook craze that occurred over the past several years, where virtually every netbook had identical specs.
One area where the Optimus Pad shows its true prowess is with Web browsing. The speed with which you can zoom using pinch zoom is absolutely shocking. If you have ever used this function on your Android phone, or on a Macbook, you know there can be some lag. Not on the Optimus Pad. Check out the video to see for yourself.
Granted that it is 1.2 inch smaller to its larger tablet siblings, we will let you choose for yourself. All tablets feature near identical specs, aside from screen size.
Which one deserves your love?
We also took the time earlier to a more comprehensive appraisal of some of the best upcoming tablets of 2011, so check it out!
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Being that right now I have an Archos 101 and I think 10″ is the only way to go. I gotta say the Galaxy Tab 10.1″ has to be my winner. When using the Galaxy Tab 7″ at a Tmobile store I loved the fit and finish of the OS, they really spent the time to get 2.2 running well for that tablet. I have to assume that the same seamless quality will be there in the Galaxy 10.1″ too. But I’m all about bang for the buck. If the Galaxy 10.1″ is super expensive I’d never buy it. Really Android tablets need to be in the Sub $400 range to be a viable alternative otherwise the American people will just buy iPads cus there is no reason not to if the prices are the same or more. They don’t realize that Apple products carry such an expensive price tag over the long run vs Android cus they’re not keeping track of the Mobile Industry. I’m an Android Evangelist and try to convert people all over the place to Android but its a losing battle right now for the American public, they’re hypnotized by Apples commercials. The only way another company will stand up is if they put in billions of dollars in advertising to become the 2nd hip company. I have a feeling HP can do it with WebOS once they leverage the OS into all of their products from phones, tablets, printers, dual boot laptops and dual boot desktops. Then they need to advertise the hell out of it and MAYBE they can do it. Otherwise Google needs to step up and advertise the hell out of Android to get the American public to realize that Android is an Operating System and that there is more to Android phones than just the “Droids” that Verizon has advertised. That all carriers have Android phones that can access this market that has 150,000 apps which are mostly free, and that these phones start all the way down to FREE and go up to $250 for the top of the line ones. The American public doesn’t pay attention very well and it takes a lot of money to teach them the right things. Companies need to realize that if they don’t advertise heavily Apple will take over the world. Google needs to start advertising for their Android OS on their own homepage, most of the American public use Google and they need to leverage their homepage to gain market share. Whether or not its going to be viewed as an Anti-Trust case I’m not a lawyer and cant say how they should do this.
So right now I’ll be sticking with my Archos 101. But it is pretty much in the air what my follow up tablet will be. It has to be 10″ and have a dual core proc, but cost approx $400. Otherwise I’m really going to end up with a HP Touchpad to browse the internet, and respond to emails on. Cus WebOS is a GREAT operating system. I love Android and love all the free apps that make the functionality so versatile. But Unless the manufacturers work on lowering their prices Apple will win.
I thing ANdroid will ruin IPhone domination at few months later. Cant hardly wait for Playbook…IMHO